Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Mother Hits the Promised Land

To the very end, my mom does things her own way. She spent these past three days getting shed of the mortal body. I was there for most of it, and I used all my spiritual tools to endure.

Trying to care for my mother as she slowly died was the hardest thing I have EVER done. She was a stubborn Norweigian to the end, with a stout heart that didn't want to quit. I told her a hundred times that she was free to go, but she went when she was dam good and ready. She did pay attention to my request that she go on my watch, in the wee hours this morning, and I am thankful.

The photo I've posted here was taken of my mom 18 years ago. We had a wonderful life together. Today I'm working on remembering the good years instead of my final vision of her. Thank you all for your wonderful prayers and thoughts. You made it easier for me.

Here is my last poem about her journey, I think, written during the past couple of nights as she lay dying.

Your Dance of the Final Days


Your chest rises and falls rhythmically, I see
glancing at the narrow bed across the room.
It is anyone’s room, a blue sea of carpet,
a drawn window shade, but here is your old
cedar chest, scarred by memories inside it.
Here is your plywood sewing cabinet,
crafted by your father, its varnish worn.
Here I sit in your squeaky office chair
with the slash of duct tape on its vinyl seat
and its rusty chrome wheels. I watch you
sleep, your labored breathing drowned
by the hum and hiss of oxygen, afraid to look
away. The bedclothes might stop rising
and you slip off, me unaware, intolerable
thought. I want to see you should you slide
from bed and do a jig across the floor.
I never saw you dance in all these years
but there’s no telling what you’ll do.
You have surprised us all before.
You surprise me now with your tenacity
you skeletal lioness, chomping the neck
of the very last giraffe.

40 comments:

Ms. Anthropy said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Prayers.

Dianne said...

oh my sister-girl,
you are in my heart.
my sister did the same for our
mother, cradled in permission.
If I can cradle your soul,
or your hands, rock away.

(if we think about it, birth is no more attractive a process than death, and perhaps less painful...)
love,
Di

Patty said...

Heartfelt condolences to you Kris. You are such an amazing example of what a good daughter is and can be. Prayers out to you and God Bless her, she is at peace.

Brian Miller said...

i am sorry for your loss and hapy for her freedom...a wonderful tribute to those closing days...peace to you chris...

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

...a journey we must all make...to have you there speaks volumes about love and tenacity and memories. You will never regret your time with her, loving her on a different plane now...My thoughts are with you.

Helen said...

... written from a place deep inside your heart and soul. I'm thinking of you this evening .... and wishing you peace.

steveroni said...

Chris, it is good--actually wonderful--that you were there when she floated through that tunnel into the next inevitable part of our existence.

You have been so strong, so loving, so giving and caring, so wonderful a daughter...no wonder she wanted to stay on.

As your emotions begin to let you feel more and more of themselves, be free to "talk" about it here, if you are so inspired. You might help yourself AND certainly others, to deal with something which touches ALL our lives.

God bless you, Sweet peep!
Steve

steveroni said...

...and a MOST TOUCHINGLY BEAUTIFUL POEM from you, by you, Chris.

Thank you SO much for sharing that!

notesfromnadir said...

What a beautiful homage to your mother.

Going by that picture, she looks like she has a strong sense of humor. Just think of how lucky you are to have known her because all mothers & daughters are fortunate to share a special bond. & toward the end they can often become more like sisters.

C.M. Jackson said...

my thoughts are with you and yours-you are the best daughter and were there for her as she navigated to the next place--wishing you both peace-c

RNSANE said...

Dearest Chris...at last it is over, the long suffering of both you and your mother. I am sad but, there is no doubt, that she is now in a better place, there will be no more fiascos of hospitals keeping her alive when they shouldn't and her daughter who loved her will feel a sense of peace as well - while missing the mother that has been gone for a long while anyway. She must have been one terrific women because her daughter is a very special person to me.

Marla said...

Oh Chris....I am so glad you were able to share these last moments with your mother. I felt the same way with my parents, I didn't want them to slip away without me. It really is their final gift to us, isn't it.

This was a lovely tribute to your mother. Job well done, Chris. All of it. Well done. Now rest. You are in my thoughts and prayers where you will remain in the days ahead.

Mary LA said...

My deepest sympathy, such a wonderful tribute to your mother.

Gwei Mui said...

Dear Enchanted Oak I am sorry for your loss. But I feel you are right to concentrate on the good which will out weigh the painful last few days. You are so courages to share this poem with us, it is raw, it is paintful, it is written by one who loved.
I salute you and your mother

Martin H. said...

A deeply poignant poem. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

Argent said...

What a tender beatifully understated and unsentimental poem. I love how your brush touches the objects in the room, the chest, the chair, etc. And what a finish with such an unexpected image - which works really well for me.

Wishing you peace and strength.

Rachel Fox said...

Lovely piece of writing.
It's an intense time. Boy, is it intense!
x

Alan Burnett said...

All I can hope is that when I go, I can leave such fine memories expressed by someone with all the love you obviously had for your mother. You have dome her proud.

Birdie said...

Dearest Chris, you are on my heart! My prayers with you, thank you for sharing your and your mother's story, so touching, so enriching ... Your mom is at peace now, may you too find your peace as these days must have been so hard for you. I'm happy that you were able to hold your mom's hand when she left her body ... tender hugs, lots of love to you dear one! You are strong and beautiful lady!

the walking man said...

Sleep well n the house of your ancestors old woman. Time, soon enough will end and eternity awaits your awakening.

Woman in a Window said...

chris~

her strength comes through in photo as well as in verse. those three lines at the end. tenacity indeed.

i am sorry she's gone, of course, but glad that your watch has ended, glad that you are left with a great deal to celebrate.

xo
erin

Syd said...

Chris, I am relieved for you and for your mother. It was time. I am glad that you were there with her. Every person needs a loved one there at the end to hold a hand and to soothe as life leaves. Take care.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

It seems she had some pretty amazing eyes. I'm glad you got to spend last days here with her and gladder still that now she's full on riding at light speed, no mortality to hold her spirit back.

izzy said...

Thank you for sharing- My Mother passed away after many, long series
of life threatening visits to the hospital...
I am sorry in retrospect that I did not follow through on the last one. I am sporadically apologizing to her in prayer. She has doubtless moved on, although I am sure I will hear something about it when I join her....

The Bug said...

That's a lovely tribute to your mother - and reminds me of my own mother's passing. I wasn't able to be there for it, but I've heard from others that her last hours were similar.

Rest a while now - & then find comfort in your own words (I don't know how you couldn't when we do!).

Prayer Girl said...

What a beautiful poem you were inspired to write as your mother was making her final transition to the next part of her eternal journey.

God bless you and her.

PG

Magpie said...

Chris, I'm crying. They're tears of both sadness and joy...sadness at the hole that will be left in your world, but joy that your mother has made the next step in this journey we call life. Sadness that so much was taken from both of you in these last years, but joy at your ability to continue to love, nurture and enjoy the different person she became. I'm praying for blessings, signs and renewal for you.

Georgina Dollface said...

I have no words right now, but I am thinking of you. That is a lovely photo of your mother. - G

G-Man said...

((((((BIGHUGG))))))

Marion said...

How wonderful that your mother died when you were with her. So often, people die when the loved one just slips out of the room for a moment. That's what happened with my mother, and I will regret that always.

I imagine Frances dancing across a giant field of flowers with the sound of wonderful music surrounding her. Blessings to you and your family, Chris and now, take good care of yourself.

Peggy G said...

"My Mother Hits the Promised land"! Sounds like she was a strong, vibrant woman and she seems to have a strong, vibrant daughter. I could feel all those mixed emotions as I read your post and poem. Bless you as you begin this new part of your life. Thank you for sharing.

TechnoBabe said...

Your poem about your mother's last days is wonderful. I so like it that you had so much time with your mother and that you WANTED to.

Sam Liu said...

I am so sorry for your loss, I extend my condolences to you and your family. This is a beautiful, moving tribute and your poem is so wonderful - one can tell it comes straight from the heart. And how marvellous that you are able to remember fondly all the happy times you spent with each other. May she Rest In Peace.

Karen said...

Chris - The hardest and most holy thing you have ever done. I know that your mother felt your love until the end. Hugs and love coming your way, dear friend.
xoxoxo

Karen

Paul C said...

You include a wonderful photo of your mother as a lasting tribute. Beautiful poem.

Totalfeckineejit said...

May she rest in, and you find, peace.

lakeviewer said...

Sorry to hear about your loss.

Roxy said...

Chris, I'm sorry to hear about your loss. May you find peace in the days ahead.

Roxy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monkey Man said...

Chris, I am so sorry for your loss. I know you have been expecting this but that never makes it easy. Sorry also for my delay in contacting you, I have been on vacation and only now got to my computer. I am glad your mother now has peace. Remember.

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